Right before I wrote this post, I wrote
on my most recent manuscript.
I love this one. I truly do. I know I say that I love every one that I write and to a point that's absolutely correct, but this one is so much different in so many ways:
- it's a mystery
- it's like nothing I've ever tried before and it really stretched my skills
- it's got a boy protag, which I've not had an easy time of in the past *waves at as-yet completely unrevised singular ms that had boy protag*
- I plotted the entire thing when normally I allow the story to go where it will
- I used all my old dog show experience, which I've not ever used in a book up to now
As well as other things.
I absolutely, absolutely heart this book. And in a way, it's perfect timing. My agent has just finished reading my *other* most recent MS and has given me feedback that will require extensive thought. I've learned so much lately from revising from her and my editors, as well as my crit group friends, and I feel so much stronger on the revising front than ever before.
I always know the truly good books I write from the books that would be good second books or option books on a contract (I think, at least). The truly good books:
- have a great protag
- have interesting sidekicks
- have a question that goes deeper than just the plot, which is solid and packed
- roll out and off of my fingers to where I can hardly write fast enough.
The last few days, through no fault or will of my own, I was writing 5-8 thousand words. I couldn't get it out fast enough. I anticipated each action, I laughed at the right spots (smirking as I typed, half the time) and I got to the end with a real pang of regret. I was sad to see the end of this first draft.
THIS first draft, like my Possum Summer book, helped me remember that joy of writing and the thrill of discovery.
Gosh golly, I love this book.
So next comes revisions, which shan't take long as I've got a list already ready, and then to my agent. And then to subbing. Because this baby is GOLDEN! The agent is already panting for it, which only serves to heighten my sense of rainbow and puppy-dog sparkles around this thing.
You? How do you know the mark of a truly good book from a good but not outstanding book that you've written? Have any guidelines?